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Bandera celebrates National Day of the American Cowboy

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    Twelve-year-old Angelia Nixon of Tallahassee, Florida, poses with Roy Dugash of the Bandera Cattle Company Gunfighters after winning this year’s John Wayne Hat toss during last Saturday’s National Day of the American Cowboy celebrations on the Bandera

The National Day of the American Cowboy returned to Bandera on Saturday, July 24, after the 2020 version was cancelled by weather not COVID-19.

The nationally celebrated holiday, which drew mayn people from all around the country to the Cowboy Capital of the World, celebrates the legacies of pioneering cowboys and, more broadly, the cowboy way of life.

Kicking things off with a free cowboy breakfast, The Bandera County Courthouse grounds offered many things to do from music, games, storytellers, animals and many other cowboy-themed activities.

Bandera County Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Patricia Moore watched the activity around the Courthouse grounds with a smile.

“The Convention and Visitors Bureau has a place here where the children can play with items we brought to help them use their imaginations. I like to call it a cowboy playground,” Moore said.

Some of the children playing in cowboy playground were trying to use rope to lasso each other. One group of Boy Scouts from Rowlett in North Texas was really enjoying the roping.

“Our scouts are having a really good time,” said Scout Master Ed Colley.

One of the other visitor challenges that kept everyone laughing was the John Wayne Hat Toss, where adults and kids attempted to throw a cowboy hat onto a long pole with weather vanes.

After many, many throws, 12-year-old Angelina Nixon from Tallahassee, Florida, tossed the winning throw.

There were many other activities offered, including live entertainment, Gunfighters, Pistol Packin’ Paula, Murray & Martin, Lew Pewterbaugh, Mariachis Escamilla, Dry Bob’s Medicine Show and the Bandera Cowgirls with their annual calendar and doing autographs and photos.

Celebrations continued at the Ridin’ on Faith Rodeo at Mansfield Park that evening.

In addition to the usual offerings such as bull riding and team roping, the halftime show featured an Army Sergeant re-enlisting during the halftime show.

Following his re-enlisting ceremony, the gentleman successfully proposed to his girlfriend.